“Killing seemed normal, another act in the struggle to stay alive.” – When the Walking Defeats You
At the top of our winter reading list this year is the recently released story of George Omona, a former member of Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
When The Walking Defeats You: One Man’s Journey as Joseph Kony’s Bodyguard, written by Ledio Cakaj, is an insider’s account of life in the Lord’s Resistance Army. Based on hours of interviews with George Omona himself, When The Walking Defeats You tells the story of Oroma’s rise through LRA ranks into the inner circle of Joseph Kony himself. Omona’s personal account of his three years inside the LRA and close to the group’s notorious leader, offers unique insight on the brutality of the LRA as well as glimpses into the mind of Joseph Kony.
The book’s author, Ledio Cakaj, is a researcher and writer focused on armed conflict and demobilization and reintegration of former combatants. He has spent close to two decades in the Balkans and Central Africa, eight years of which he spent studying the LRA.
A native Albanian, Cakaj left home in 1994, at 16 years old, due to violent conflict. As an unaccompanied minor, he walked to Greece where he worked odd jobs to survive for four years, after which he migrated to England and was able to finish his education. Today, Cakaj lives in Washington, DC with his wife and three young children.